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“I wasn’t surprised,” said
Infante-Green. “But I didn’t know that it was this bad. It is
heartbreaking to see how dysfunctional this school system is.”
It’s no surprise that Providence has
struggled with their school system. The report that was released today sheds a
dim light on what many knew all along.
The report found that the vast
majority of students are not learning or even near grade level.
The report reports the following …
* With rare exception, teachers are
demoralized and feel unsupported.
* Most parents feel shut out of their
* Principals find it very difficult to
* Many school buildings are
deteriorating across the city, and some are even dangerous to students’ and
“Providence Public School District is
overburdened with multiple, overlapping sources of governance and bureaucracy
with no clear domains of authority and very little scope for transformative
change. The resulting structures paralyze action, stifle innovation, and create
dysfunction and inconsistency across the district. In the face of the current
governance structure, stakeholders understandably expressed little to no hope
for serious reform.”
The report states that school
facilities were in “deplorable” condition and cited examples of lead drinking
water, lead paint, mold, “broken asbestos tiles,”
rodents, and no heat or air conditioning.
The report states that Providence
public schools are plagued with chronic absenteeism, both of students and
teachers, causing a challenge in the district. A form letter used by many
respondents called for stopping teachers who abused the system. Relatedly,
there were many complaints about the lack of substitute teachers and the
resulting problems of overcrowding in classrooms – and the impact on learning.
Respondents also agreed about the need
for a teacher corps that more closely reflected the demographic makeup of the
student body, calling for the hiring of more racially diverse teachers and
citing the importance of students’ seeing themselves reflected in the
leadership of the school system.
Despite the reviews stated here, there
is still no talk of a state takeover of the Providence school system.
To read the report, click here….